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The Girlz will be fine –Wint - JFF gen sec weighs in on Menzies departure

Published:Thursday | December 5, 2019 | 3:57 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Former Reggae Girlz Head Coach Hue Menzies (back to camera) interacts with several members of the team during a training session held at the National Stadium on May 13, 2019.
Former Reggae Girlz Head Coach Hue Menzies (back to camera) interacts with several members of the team during a training session held at the National Stadium on May 13, 2019.

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) General Secretary Dalton Wint says he is yet to receive official word of the departure of former Reggae Girlz head coach Hue Menzies.

He, however, believes such a development would provide opportunities for other coaches to excel, while noting that he does not expect the players to be greatly affected by Menzies’decision to leave the programme.

Menzies, who led the Reggae Girlz to a historic 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualification, on Tuesday announced through the media that he would not be extending his contract that had expired in August, after a lengthy dispute with the JFF over unpaid salaries and reimbursements.

“I don’t know (if he has resigned). I can’t operate like that as a general secretary. I have nothing in writing,” Wint stated before touching on a potential fallout with the players ahead of their Concacaf Final Round Women’s Olympic Qualifying assignment, which starts early next year.

Possibilities

“I don’t know how attached they were (to Menzies), but they play for the national team of Jamaica not for a coach. We had coaches in the programme before, so either we can bring in a new one or we elevate people to the position,” Wint said. “It is possible that it (resignation) can (affect players mentally). But in life things change in the blink of an eye and these are mature persons, who can make adjustments. As soon as we hear from the coach that he is not interested, we will inform the girls.”

Assistant coach Lorne Donaldson, who took charge of the team during the recent Caribbean region Women’s Olympic qualifying series in Menzies’ absence, which was due to his issues with the JFF, is being touted as a potential replacement.

Donaldson has hinted that he would like to see several things addressed before he commits to the programme, noting his concern with the JFF’s commitment to women’s football in Jamaica.

Wint said a replacement would be named by the Technical Committee when that time comes, but underlined that the situation will provide an opportunity for other capable coaches.

“Lorne (Donaldson) was the head coach for the recent (Olympic) qualification (in Menzies’ absence). So sometimes you miss somebody it’s an opportunity for somebody else. The technical department will determine that (his replacement) but until the technical department recommend him (Lorne) I cannot say,” Wint reasoned.

“Rene Simoes brought the Reggae Boyz to the World Cup and on several attempts we tried and didn’t go. But now we have a local coach (Theodore Whitmore) and he is doing very well, he has one of the best record of coaches we’ve had.”

Wint also stated that Menzies has been reimbursed for the personal monies spent during the qualifying campaign, for which he was able to provide proof of spend. His actual salary is, however, still yet to be paid.

“Mr Menzies has receive all money owed. Anything he hasn’t received it’s because he has no justification for it. Anything he asked for and there is justification, he has received, so what has been confirmed has been reimbursed. He might be right (that there are fees outstanding to him) but we don’t have that being submitted with proof, so personal funds have been reimbursed, but his salary is still outstanding,” Wint stated.

Menzies, who was appointed as head coach in 2015, had a strained relationship with the JFF hierarchy. The coach made constant calls for greater support from the administration and backed the players during their disputes with the organisation.

He had refused to continue coaching the team until all outstanding funds were paid to him and missed the team’s first round of Olympic qualifiers between September and October at the National Stadium.

After complaining of being ignored by the JFF administrators on his contract renewal and the monies owed to him, the veteran coach decided to call it quits late on Tuesday. He had expressed plans to notify the JFF officially yesterday.